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Oval’s 50th Test starts

SHERRYLYN CLARKE, [email protected]

Oval’s 50th Test starts

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BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – West Indies lost the toss and were asked to field against New Zealand on the opening day of the decisive third Test today at Kensington Oval here.
The Windies have made two changes, with off-spinner Shane Shillingford and fast bowler Jason Holder replacing Jermaine Blackwood and Shannon Gabriel.
Holder makes his Test debut, becoming the 299th player to wear the Windies’ maroon cap. He was presented with his Test cap by fast bowling legend Courtney Walsh just before the players took the field.
The home team earned a ten-wicket victory in the second Test that ended last Friday at Queen’s Park Oval in Trinidad to level the three-Test series 1-1.
This followed a 186-run defeat in the first Test which ended inside four days at Sabina Park in Jamaica.
The match marks the occasion of the 50th Test at the historic venue.
Most of the structures around the ground were demolished at the end of the 2004-05 international season and completely rebuilt ahead of the 2007 ICC World Cup, when it hosted the Final.
The ground was the venue for the first Test ever in the Caribbean, when West Indies took on England in the year 1930.
The Windies have played 49 Tests here, winning 22 wins, losing ten and drawing 17 – and will be looking to reverse a record that has brought just two wins in the last 11 Tests. (PR)